Jack Harrison is expected to be the only player unavailable for Leeds United against Manchester City and Phil Hay worries his exclusion could hurt Raphinha.

The Whites have a rare clean bill of health though Adam Forshaw does remain a long-term absentee.

Hay expects Helder Costa to replace Harrison but hopes Marcelo Bielsa does not change Raphinha’s position because of that.

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On The Phil Hay Show, he said, “Harrison will be missing this weekend and you would assume that would most likely bring Helder Costa into the team.

“That will leave the decision whether to switch Raphinha over to the left which I hope he doesn’t but Costa does seem to be more effective down the right when he is effective at all.

“That will most likely be the only change. With the exception of Forshaw everyone else will be available.”

Keeping things simple

Raphinha has played his best football for the Whites on the right-flank so he must start there against Man City.

We need our biggest threats playing in their natural roles and it would be counter-productive to disrupt the Brazilian and his partnership with Patrick Bamford.

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That creates a dilemma for Bielsa, as Costa is also naturally suited to the right-flank.

In the 1-1 draw with Man City at Elland Road Bielsa went for a defensive approach, starting Gjanni Alioski at left-wing with Stuart Dallas playing behind him.

Another option is Ian Poveda, but he has failed to start a league game this season and has not featured since the Brighton match in January, in part due to injury.

However, the winger put in a strong showing against City last time out.

He came on at half-time and helped us to a point with an excellent display that earned him a BBC rating of 7.7, and according to WhoScored he made two completed dribbles.

Poveda’s pace could be a way to unsettle Pep Guardiola’s side while allowing Raphinha to pose a danger from the right, so he is an option Bielsa should seriously consider.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims the future of one young Whites player could soon be over.


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